Our Attorneys

Pieter Van Der Merwe

Managing Director

Backed by 20 years of experience and proficiency in business law, Pieter Van Der Merwe advises clients on a variety of business matters such as acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and trade transactions.

He sees himself as a normal person with a highly specialised skill-set and a passion for his field.  It does not matter if it is a newly formed company or a large listed public company, he enjoys the satisfaction of seeing his clients succeed.

Pieter has been a keynote speaker on company law and business law matters at various conferences.  He enjoys rubbing shoulders with people in the industry and contributes regularly to the firm’s blog on commercial law matters.

Practice Areas

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Banking Law
  • Property Law

Education

  • University of the Free State, South Africa, B Proc Law degree, 1997
  • University of South Africa, South Africa, LLM Masters Law degree, 2002

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa
  • Admitted Notary, South Africa
  • Admitted Conveyancer, South Africa

Marilize Jerling

Senior Associate

Marilize is a natural leader who is highly motivated, passionate and enthusiastic about the industry she operates in. Marilize specializes in corporate & commercial law and compliance and heads the Company Secretariat division of the firm as well as specializing in the establishment and protection of multinational interests in South Africa.

Marilize places great emphasis on client relationships, and enjoys using her out of the box thinking to provide clients with simple solutions to extremely complex matters. She is an acting Rotarian in her spare time.

Practice areas

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Banking Law
  • Company Secretariat
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Energy

Education

  • Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, BCom  Law degree, 2010
  • Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, LLB Law degree, 2012

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa

Helena Badenhorst

Senior Associate

Helena joined the VDMA team in 2018. Helena is a highly skilled and passionate Attorney with over a decade’s experience. Helena specialises in Labour Law, Family Law and High Court Litigation. In 2010 Helena also qualified as a Mediator with FAMSA

Helena’s leadership, professionalism and commitment creates great value for her clients, she places special emphases on client care and is committed to expanding VDMA.

Practice areas

  • Family Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Labour Law
  • High Court Litigation

Education

  • School for Legal Practice, South Africa, 1995
  • Potcefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, South Africa, B Proc Law degree, 1994

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa

Carmen Moss-Holdstock

Head of Tax

Carmen Moss-Holdstock is the Head of tax in the tax department. She specialises in financial services, mergers and acquisitions, international tax and value-added tax. She also has experience in the mining sector and has advised large mining companies. In particular, she advises South African corporates and financial institutions on their domestic tax issues in relation to, among others, group re-organisations, financing and mergers and acquisitions.

Carmen also advises South African multinationals in respect of the South African tax consequences arising from their inbound investment strategies/transactions into South Africa.

Carmen has acted for South African and foreign corporates, banks and financial institutions, including insurance companies. She also advises and assists clients with their ruling applications to the South African Revenue Service, their exchange control issues and assists clients with dispute resolution.

Carmen writes for various journals, notably the Business Tax and Company Law quarterly journal and Tax Talk. She has also lectured on tax at the University of Johannesburg. Carmen is also fluent in speaking isiXhosa.

Practice areas

  • Corporate Tax
  • Value-Added Tax
  • International Tax
  • Mining Tax
  • Exchange Control
  • Dispute Resolution

Education

  • University of Cape Town, South Africa, LLB
  • University of Cape Town, South Africa, LLM (Tax)
  • University of Cape Town, South Africa, M.Com (Tax)
  • University of Cape Town, South Africa, PG Diploma (Company Law)
  • University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (PG Diplomas: Income Tax, Value-Added Tax and Capital Gains Tax)

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Master Tax Practitioner, South Africa Institute of Tax Practitioners

Memberships

  • Member of South Africa Institute of Tax Practitioners Business Tax Committee
  • Member of South Africa Institute of Tax Practitioners Value-Added Tax Committee

Andrea Opperman

Associate

Andrea began her legal career in mergers and acquisitions in Sandton. Looking to expand in the corporate commercial industry and on her skills, she joined VDMA in 2015.

She specializes in and has a passion for corporate commercial law with a focus on deal structuring and transactional drafting. She enjoys and has an aptitude for challenging ventures and developing client specific solutions.

Andrea places great priority on and has been complimented on her attention to detail and client relations.

Practice areas

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Banking and Finance
  • B-BBEE and Tax Restructuring
  • Food and Agri Business
  • Company Secretariat

Education

  • University of Pretoria, South Africa, BCom Law degree, 2011
  • University of Pretoria, South Africa, LLB Law degree (with distinction), 2013

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa

De Waal Nigrini

Associate

De Waal is an up and coming legal professional with the skills, knowledge and experience to make his mark. Backed by his degrees in business and law, he is equipped to provide solutions to complex legal problems.

He specialises in corporate commercial law and assists the company secretarial department of the Centurion branch. De Waal has been exposed to and has gained extensive experience in corporate and tax structuring, private equity financing and mergers and acquisitions. He is meticulous and his hardworking nature makes him an ideal legal professional to advise clients on their legal issues.

De Waal enjoys the pursuit of excellence and thrives on new and interesting challenges.

Practice areas

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Insolvency Law
  • Company Secretariat

Education

  • University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, BComm degree in Management Science majoring in Financial Accounting and Logistics Management, 2010
  • University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, HonsBComm Logistics Management, 2011
  • University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, Post-Graduate LLB degree, 2014

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa

Arianna Khoury

Associate

Arianna began her legal career at VDMA in 2015 and specialises in corporate and commercial law and regulatory compliance with a focus on assisting international clients with inbound investment into South Africa.

In addition to the above, Arianna is a certified international mediator holding accreditation as a corporate and commercial mediator from the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, the largest and leading management and resolution consultancy in the world.

Arianna believes that strong client relationships and an integral understanding of a client’s business are key factors to adding value to simple and complex matters.

Practice areas

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Company Secretariat

Education

  • Independent Institute of Education, Vega School, South Africa, Bachelor of Arts specialising in creative brand communication, 2012
  • University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Bachelor of Laws degree, 2015

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa

Stuart Roux

Associate

Stuart began his legal career in 2016 and specialises in Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Commercial and Insurance Law with a focus on handling complex legal matters.

Stuart has a passion for Insurance Law having completed a Master Degree majoring in Insurance Law and is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Medal for the top achieving Masters student at the University of Johannesburg. He has experience in large-scale commercial litigation, dispute resolution and insurance claims and has published numerous articles in the field of Commercial and Insurance Law.

Stuart enjoys providing clients with specialised and quality advice and believes that no problem is too complex to be tackled.

Practice areas

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Litigation
  • Insurance Law
  • Commercial Law

Education

  • University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Bachelor of Laws degree, 2014
  • University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Master of Laws degree (cum laude), 2016
  • University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, Post-Graduate Certificate in Climate Change & Energy Law, 2017

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa

Professional Consultants

Peter Wieselthaler

Immigration Attorney

Peter has been involved in South African immigration since 2003. With over 12 years experience Peter advises various international corporate clients including banks, mining firms, management consultants and food chains.

Peter has experience navigating the Regulation changes in 2005 and 2014 and brings a wealth of experience to all clients navigating through the minefield of assisting expatriates to gain access to South Africa.

Peter specialises in and only practices South African Immigration law. As a result he is seen as an authority in the field.

Education

  • University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, B.Comm (Economics)
  • University of South Africa, South Africa, LLB

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted Attorney, South Africa
  • Right of Appearance, High Court, South Africa

Candidate Attorneys